Can a rabbit eat strawberry? As our featured image would suggest, the answer is yes; let’s get to the safety of your furry friend. A bunny rabbit is a known herbivore whose diet consists of fresh veggies, plants, and fruits. However, rabbits tend to get sick when consuming too much sugar and starch (bananas, beware). This got me wondering, “Can a bunny rabbit eat strawberry fruit? Is it safe?” So I did my research, and this is what I found out.
Bunny rabbits can eat strawberries but in small amounts. Frequent feeding or eating vast quantities of strawberries can cause severe weight or gastrointestinal issues. Strawberries are not toxic or poisonous to rabbits, but some bunnies are allergic to strawberries.
Nevertheless, just because some bunnies are allergic doesn’t mean that your bunny rabbit cannot enjoy all the health benefits of strawberries. So in this article, we’ll focus on how to safely feed your pet strawberries and determine the right amount to give your pet per week. We’ll also elaborate more on what happens when you feed your rabbit excess strawberries.
Can a Rabbit Eat Strawberry? Safe Strawberry Serving Sizes For A Rabbit
Rabbits can consume fruits, including strawberries, as treats once or twice per week.
Most bunny rabbits love these fruits, and they may even want more. But make sure you keep the quantity as low as one to two tablespoons of strawberries per 5 pounds of the rabbit’s body weight.
Over 305 breeds of rabbits in over 70 nations vary in weight. The weight of these breeds ranges between 2 and 15 pounds. So, if your pet weighs about 5 pounds, you can feed it a tablespoon after every three days or so or two tablespoons per week, according to Wikipedia sources.
What Can Happen If You Feed Excessively?
The digestive system of an adult rabbit can easily digest the sugar in fruits in minimal amounts. And when they consume a considerable amount of strawberries, the undigested sugar reaches the caecum, where harmful bacteria break it down. The arrival of too much-unprocessed sugar in the caecum can result in an increased population of toxin-producing bacteria, which can affect your pet’s health.
Breaking down the undigested sugar at the caecum can result in diarrhea, gas, and bloating, which can be uncomfortable for our pets.
Are you using safe dishes for your rabbit? See some of the best rabbit dishes here.
Why Do Bunny Rabbits Love Strawberries?
Like human beings, rabbits have a sweet tooth, and they would choose anything sweet over hay. Most fruits are sugary and sweet; rabbits love strawberries because they are tasty.
Remember, bunnies are concentrate selectors, which could be why you believe your pet is a picky eater. Concentrate selectors pick and choose their food based on the energy they will receive from it. Naturally, a sugary strawberry will provide more power than hay or grass.
Therefore, they will choose the tastiest, nutrient-rich, soft meal on the farm; instead of consuming high roughage and fiber. When you let it select between hay and strawberries, it will always go for the sweeter option, which is terrible as excess sugar can do more than just cause obesity. Excessive sugar can damage our pet’s teeth.
Bunnies need fibrous meals like grass and hay, which help grind their teeth and prevent abscesses. Their teeth are constantly growing, so ensure you feed them high-fibrous feeds. Avoid giving them too many fruits like strawberries, as it can cause sugar overload and dental issues.
Are Strawberries Healthy For Our Bunny Rabbits?
A strawberry is a nutritious powerhouse with numerous essential nutrients like vitamin C, phosphorus, and calcium that can help keep your bunny healthy. Phosphorus and calcium are integral to your pet’s daily diet, ideal for teeth growth and bone development, among other needs. Some of its health benefits include:
They Are Highly Nutritious Fruits
Bunnies love tasty things, and they can find strawberries a great delicacy. Strawberries are nutritious and can benefit from magnesium, potassium, folate, and manganese in these fruits. Strawberries contain a high amount of vitamin C and small amounts of other vitamins like Vitamin B9.
Bunnies require vitamins to remain healthy and allow their bodies to function correctly. And vitamin C can help protect them from diseases while strengthening their immunity. However, rabbits can process their own vitamin C, so you shouldn’t give them strawberries because of this factor, as excess amounts of vitamin C can cause kidney damage.
Strawberries Can Boost The Hydration Of A Bunny
According to Healthline, strawberries contain carbohydrates (7.7%) and water (91%). It also contains low amounts of protein (0.7%) and fat (0.3%). Therefore, they can help with hydration, mainly if your pet is not fond of taking a lot of water.
Strawberry Is An Excellent Source Of Fiber
These fruits contain a significant fiber essential for your pet’s diet. These fibers can help maintain your pet’s gastrointestinal health and digestive tract.
Strawberries Have Crucial Phytonutrients
Strawberries have numerous polyphenol antioxidants like stilbenes, tannins, lignans, phenolic acids, and flavonoids. These polyphenols contain a collection of antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties. These phytonutrients can benefit your pet by preventing chronic illnesses like heart disease or cancer and neutralizing free radicals.
Without these antioxidants, these free radicals can induce pathological and physiological changes and damage the structure of the cells. Strawberries can be a great source of anti-inflammatory compounds protecting your rabbit against inflammation.
Anti-Inflammatory and Antioxidant Phenols in Strawberries
|Quercetin||Sangulin H-6||Resveratrol||Vanillic acid|
What Are Some of the Health and Medical Concerns?
Despite being a healthy treat that your pet will love, some health issues with feeding rabbits strawberries are possible. Some of these concerns include
Some parasites, like the spotted wing drosophila, are known for poking through this fruit’s thin skin and laying eggs. These eggs hatch into larvae and then grow. So, before feeding them strawberries, you should check these fruits for parasites that can affect your pet’s health.
Commercially grown plants commonly have pesticides applied that can harm your pet. Please ensure you soak your strawberries in a mixture of vinegar and water for 15 minutes, then rinse them in cold water. Dry them thoroughly before giving them to your pet.
- Overly Ripened Strawberries
Avoid feeding them overly ripe strawberries, as this can cause gastrointestinal upset and diarrhea. And that is because overripe fruits have higher sugar levels than their less ripe counterparts.
Are you using safe dishes for your rabbit? See some of the best rabbit dishes here.
Can Bunnies Eat Strawberry? Frequently Asked Questions
At What Age Can Bunny Rabbits Start Eating Strawberries?
Baby rabbits have a susceptible gastrointestinal system that cannot easily digest vegetables and fruits. Therefore, the best time to give young rabbits vegetables and fruits like strawberries is when it’s at least three months old. Make sure you introduce them one new fruit at a time and monitor them for 24 hours for any sign of stomach upset before making it part of their weekly diet.
Can Bunny Rabbits Eat Strawberry Jelly Or Jam?
Processed strawberry products like jams and jellies have added preservatives, spices, and sugar. Therefore, they have a high sugar level which can cause stomach upset and obesity in rabbits. When not digested, the unprocessed sugar can reach the caecum, where bacteria will break it down, resulting in stomach upset.
Can Bunny Rabbits Eat Strawberry Top?
The top of this fruit consists of the stem and the green leaves of the strawberries, which rabbits can eat. However, it would help wash them thoroughly to get rid of the chemical or pesticide residues before giving them to your pet. The stem of the strawberry is not too tough, but make sure it’s short and thin to prevent them from becoming a choking hazard.
Can Bunny Rabbits Eat Cooked Strawberries?
Any processed or cooked food is not ideal for rabbits since they are herbivores and rely entirely on raw foods for their nutrients. Cooked food has low nutrient levels than the raw food our pets need. Cooked food is too soft to help wear down your rabbit’s ever-growing teeth.
Can Strawberries Kill Bunny Rabbits?
Strawberries are healthy and safe for rabbits that cannot kill rabbits when given in moderation. While some fruits’ leaves, stems, and seeds are toxic to rabbits, strawberries are not poisonous. Therefore, please ensure the fruits are pesticide and parasite-free before feeding them to your pet.
As mentioned, strawberries are healthy aggregate fruits that are safe in small amounts. Before feeding your rabbit strawberries, ensure they are raw, fresh, clean, and divided into small chewable pieces.
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